My drive has gone into la-la-land again

Honestly, the MyCloud is a wimp, not up to heavy lifting.

I just copied a few gig of personal video files onto the drive and now, once again, it’s rolled up into a ball and refuses to talk to any of my computers (Windows and OSX and iOS). This happened about a month ago too. At the time I power cycled it in an attempt to return it to sanity. Took a few days to stabilize. This happens to varying degrees whenever I copy more than a couple of files over a short time.

It’s a 4T MyCloud, running firmware version 04.04.01-112.

It’s been unreachable for hours now. Here’s a new one: when I disconnect it from the network normally the front light starts flashing white. This time it just stays solid blue. I may give it another day or so before power cycling it.

Actually, it was fairly stable most of last year. I didn’t update the firmware all year until December when the latest release appeared to be stable. I know from nasty past experience how wonky some of these firmware updates can be.

This isn’t even a plea for help. I know enough of this product’s quirks to get by. Just a plea to fix it, which I don’t think will happen. I don’t know who the target customer is but it isn’t for those of us who need a reliable, multiuser NAS that can handle terabytes of data without getting winded. I’ve even had WD tech support tell me I should have bought someone else’s NAS. Too bad, when it works, it works really well.

The My Cloud is what it is. The processor is low powered. As such it takes longer for the OS to perform scanning of files one copies to the unit. Depending on the file types one copies to unit it could take some time for the unit to scan the files. During that time other access to the unit may be sluggish or slow down.

There are various threads discussing how to disable certain features and functions (like from the dashboard; remote access, twonky media server, iTunes media server, ftp, etc.) to speed up the My Cloud and turn it into a basic NAS without all the bells and whistles, but disabling those features and functions may disable things like Remote Access and DLNA client access. The two services people normally disable (using SSH) are: wdmcserverd and wdphotodbmergerd. That tends to speed up the unit a bit. Here are a few threads.

“The My Cloud is what it is. The processor is low powered.”

So what you’re saying is: the product is junk. It doesn’t live up to the capabilities advertised.

“During that time other access to the unit may be sluggish or slow down.”

How about full stop, zero, no access. The unit disappears from the network. None of my devices, or WD software can see it. It’s been over 12 hours now. I can hear the drive’s mechanisms clicking. It’s doing something, but it doesn’t want to talk to the network.

How can you release a 4TB NAS that can’t handle a few GB of data transfer. The mind boggles.

So the few solutions you offer basically turn off the features I wanted in the device when I bought it in the first place. I want a reliable NAS I can access anywhere on my home network, on the road, in a boardroom, at the airport, in my hotel room; while acting as my central data and media archive. As I said, when it does these things it does them really well, and it plays well with my other iOS apps; but when it doesn’t it is soooo slow and frustrating beyond belief.

Well, as WD support suggested, maybe it’s time to move on to someone else’s product. As far as WD is concerned, once bitten, twice shy!

Wlunscher, outside of a one or two specific issues the My Cloud unit I am using is working as advertised. I have no problems transferring files to it. Not problems with remote access. No problems with it disappearing from my local network. No problems streaming media from it. A family member also has zero problems with their My Cloud.

The problem is some have unrealistic expectations of what the My Cloud should be capable of. And even more don’t understand who the My Cloud devices are marketed too. The My Cloud is not designed for the serious hard core NAS user, is designed for Joe Six Pack home user who needs a simple low cost device to store their files that can be accessed remotely and be streamed to local DLNA clients. There are often instances where people blame the My Cloud for problems when in fact it is either their computer, their local network, or how they configured the My Cloud that is the ultimate cause. People expect the My Cloud to perform or be as capable as NAS devices costing twice the price of the My Cloud.

Does the My Cloud have its issues? You bet. Is the hardware limited? Absolutely, but that’s a trade off to keep the cost of the My Cloud down. Are there problems with the operating system? Yes. There are ways, as explained in the prior threads I linked too, where one can attempt to address some of the more common causes for sluggish behavior or slow copying. Is it stupid one has to use SSH to turn off some services to stop the sluggishness? Yes. Does the My Cloud work for most as advertised? Yes. WD probably has sold millions of these devices, typically only those who have problems come to these support forums seeking help, or to complain. Rare is the time someone shows up to say; everything works. As such if one reads only these support forums its easy to assume there are major problems with the My Cloud and many are having problems with it.

There are certain issues with the My Cloud that are the fault of Microsoft and Apple, the Windows 10 and El Capitan issues respectively. Some of those issues can be worked around but people still blame the My Cloud when in fact its Microsoft/Apple that created the problem and need to ultimately provide a fix or workaround for it.

If your not satisfied or unhappy and cannot fix your problems or an RMA doesn’t fix your problems, then sell or return the My Cloud. Or pull the hard drive from it and put it into a computer or connect it to an external USB/eSATA enclosure. There are even threads here that explain how to load alternate OS to the My Cloud that might solve some issues.

Epilog: by late evening the MyCloud had gone totally catatonic. I.e., no activity sounds from the device at all, and no access. Lights were on, but no one was home. So I pulled the plug. The power up sequence looked normal, and within 2 hours it was back to normal operation on all devices. To the credit of the current firmware, this used to take a day or more. I still see issues with connection stability of mounted volumes on some devices, but at least I have access. We’ll see how long that lasts.

To Bennor’s many fine points:

I’m sure there’s many (Joe Six Packs, let’s hope they didn’t hear you call them that!) that don’t stress their machines and maybe don’t even really need a NAS. More likely, there are many who suffer in silence or grumble to their friends or family. I know very few in my circles willing to take on a customer service blog. In my experience, if I have an issue, many others do too.

Much of what was said is hardly a rousing endorsement of this device. However, trying to push the blame on Microsoft and Apple is just plain whining. Those companies dominate the desktop OS market. Learn to work with them. Communicate. Both have extensive developer programs. Both release multiple developer betas before a new golden master version goes public. You have a specialized, little product here. There’s no excuse not to be ready when they are.

Well, there’s one. I know how this often works. I’ve been a developer and product manager. Once a product is released, maintenance is delegated to a lowly junior engineer in a remote cubicle while the rest of the team is released to pursue the latest, greatest hot new product. So the customers are fed a product anomaly list that may get addressed sometime, hopefully before the product is discontinued.

Meanwhile, I’ll gladly keep pushing for the those who think they bought a better product than they did.

You have a specialized, little product here.

Just to remind you; Bennor, like almost all forum members, is just a customer, not WD staff. He’s not responsible for WD product development, or for sorting Apple or Microsoft problems. This is a User forum, not a WD support forum.

He, like you and me, is just another ‘Joe Six Pack’…

Thank you. That’s good to know, and for others reading too.

Another epilog: WD support must read these. They contacted me today by telephone (nice people, easy to talk to). I was able to describe the problems to date, and they requested the system log (+ instructions on how to get it). Good thing too. Though the device now mounts shares Ok, it isn’t appearing on Quickview or WD Access on this computer today. That too has been happening for a long time, on and off.

We’ll see how the story ends.